Bill Connelly's Boise State preview hinted that the best case scenario for the Broncos would be double-digit wins - a thought that simultaneously jives with my feelings on the 2012 Broncos and horrifies me because 10-win seasons are as easy as breathing around these parts. Could the Broncos really struggle to crack the double-digit threshold?
Let's examine the schedule:
Certain wins: vs. Miami (OH), @ New Mexico, vs. Fresno State, vs. UNLV, @ Wyoming, vs. Colorado State. While the possibility exists that the Broncos could trip up against any team at any time, let's be real, you guys. The Broncos aren't going to lose to these teams. Pencil in six wins and bowl eligibility with your most permanent of pencils.
Difficult conference games: @ Hawaii, @ Nevada, vs. San Diego State. I would expect the Broncos to lose no more than one conference game - if that - and these three teams represent the most likely losses, give or take the level of Reno-geddon the Broncos will inflict on Nevada. If it's a Mountain West clean sweep, the Broncos are at nine wins. If Hawaii happens to pull out a W on the trash plains of Aloha Stadium, we'd be at eight wins and counting.
Token loss: @ Michigan State. Experts say the rebuilding Broncos will have their hands full for this one. I'll count it a loss in May, but my tune will change 180 degrees in my August previews. Pass the shoulder chips, please.
Too-close-to-calls: vs. BYU, @ Southern Miss. The Cougars are a borderline preseason Top 25 team and the Golden Eagles play super far away from Boise. Those reasons tend to be enough for folks to think Boise State might have trouble in these contests. The most generous of Bronco fans would say one of these games might be a loss. Let's go with that. Boise State would be 10-2 by season's end.
Bowl game: TBD but probably the Las Vegas Bowl because the universe has to even things out for all those Fiesta Bowls. By this time of year, Boise State will be firing on all cylinders (cylinders fired by Joe Southwick or Nick Patti? Discuss vehemently), so I pity the 6-6 Pac-12 team BSU faces. If the Broncos aren't at 10 wins already, then this will be it.
Note: Mark Coyle, please schedule a 13th game, even if it's against the Boise Optimist All-Stars. Otherwise, revenue opportunity and freebie win missed.
What do you think of this season projection? Should 10 wins be a foregone conclusion against this schedule? What evil things will you do if BSU doesn't get to 10 wins? Share your thoughts in the comments.